Etymology
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slate (n.)
mid-14c., from Old French esclate, fem. of esclat "split piece, splinter" (Modern French éclat; see slat), so called because the rock splits easily into thin plates. As an adjective, 1510s. As a color, first recorded 1813. Sense of "a writing tablet" (made of slate), first recorded late 14c., led to that of "list of preliminary candidates prepared by party managers," first recorded 1842, from notion of being easily altered or erased. Clean slate (1856) is an image from customer accounts chalked up in a tavern.
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slate (v.)
1520s, "to cover with slates" (earlier sclatten, late 15c.), from slate (n.). Meaning "propose, schedule" is from 1883; earlier "to nominate" (1804); the notion is of writing on a slate board. Related: Slated; slating.
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slater (n.)
"one who makes or lays slates," c. 1400 (mid-13c. as a surname), agent noun from slate.
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skewer (n.)
1670s, variant of dialectal skiver (1660s), perhaps from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse skifa "a cut, slice" (of bread, etc.), Swedish skifer "a slate," which are related to shiver (n.1) "small piece."
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tick-tack-toe (n.)

children's three-in-a-row game with Xs and Os, so called by 1892, earlier tit-tat-toe (by 1852, in reminiscences of earlier years), also called noughts and crosses (1852), also oughts and crosses. Probably from the sound of the pencil on the slate with which it originally was played by schoolboys. Also the name of a children's counting rhyme played on slate (also originally tit-tat-toe, by 1842), and compare tick-tack (1580s), a form of backgammon, possibly from French trictrac, perhaps imitative of the sound of tiles on the board.

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shiver (n.1)
"small piece, splinter, fragment, chip," c. 1200, perhaps from an unrecorded Old English word, related to Middle Low German schever schiver "splinter," Old High German scivero, from Proto-Germanic *skif- "split" (source also of Old High German skivaro "splinter," German Schiefer "splinter, slate"), from PIE root *skei- "to cut, split." Commonly in phrases to break to shivers "break into bits" (mid-15c.). Also, shiver is still dialectal for "a splinter" in Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
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basalt (n.)
type of volcanic rock, c. 1600, from Late Latin basaltes, misspelling of Latin basanites "very hard stone," from Greek basanites "a species of slate used to test gold," from basanos "touchstone," also "a trial, examination, test whether anything be true," from Egyptian baban "slate," a stone which was used by the Egyptians as a touchstone of gold. According to Beekes, "It came to Greece via Lydia." In Pliny, basaniten by mistake became basalten, which is the origin of basalt.

Any hard, very dark rock would do as a touchstone; the assayer compared the streak left by the alleged gold with that of real gold or baser metals. From the noun in Greek came Greek basanizein "to be put to the test, be examined closely, be cross-examined, be put to torture." Not connected with salt. Related: Basaltic.
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slat (n.)
late 14c., earlier sclat (c. 1300), "a roofing slate, a thin, flat stone," from Old French esclat "split piece, chip, splinter" (Modern French éclat), back-formation from esclater "to break, splinter, burst," probably from Frankish *slaitan "to tear, slit" or some other Germanic source (compare Old High German slizan, Old English slitan; see slit (v.)). Meaning "long, thin, narrow piece of wood or metal" attested from 1764.
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quarry (n.2)

"open place where rocks are excavated," late 14c., quarrei (mid-13c. as a place name), from Medieval Latin quareia, a dissimilation of quarreria (mid-13c.), literally "place where stones are squared," from Latin quadrare "to make square," related to quadrus "a square," quattuor "four" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four"). Quarry-faced, of building stones, is "rough-faced, as though taken right from the quarry" (1849).

The word mine is generally applied to the excavations from which metals, metalliferous ores, and coal are taken ; from quarries are taken all the various materials used for building, as marble, freestone, slate, lime, cement, rock, etc. A quarry is usually open to the day : a mine is generally covered, communicating with the surface by one or more shafts. [Century Dictionary]
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